tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN June 24, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
$2.5 trillion a year, the federal government controlling this. lock, stock and barrel. mr. speaker, the american people don't want that. ppthe american people didn't wa the federal government to completely take over the student loan industry. but they did. this president did. this majority did, mr. speaker. the american people don't want a cap and trade bill, an emergency bill that results in $1,500 a year minimum increase, and a cost of electricity for every family in this country. the american people don't want that. americannpeople want our borders secured. mr. speaker, ask any of them, not just the people in arizona. ask the people in georgia. ask the people in michigan.
they want our borders secured. they don't want amnesty. that was tried in 1986. and i think something like, i don't know, six million maybe were granted amnesty, and now we've got 12, 14 million illegals in our country. so it's just the fact that, as i said, mr. speaker, that -- not that people don't want to have more affordable health care, lower insurance premiums, better coverage. they want that. of course they want that. but they don't want the federal government to take it all over and literally come between a doctor and her patient in an exam room. say no, no, doctor, you can't do that.
it says here in the manual, bureaucrat number 128 of the 131 new ones is over that, and you can't order that test because there's a cheaper way to do it. the doctor says, well, yeah, but you know, this patient -- i know this medication will work and the other, we tried it, and it didn't work for my patient. in fact, she had a bad reaction to it. well, you're going to have to get a waiver then, doctor. but, madam bureaucrat, the patient needs care today. well, we probably have an answer for you in a week or two. that's the kind of stuff that we're talking about. that's the reason why -- i'm going to tell you this, mr. speaker. that's the reason why there are physicians all across this country on both sides of the aisle who are seeking the nomination of their party to
come join us, become one of the 435, or one of the 100 in the other body. i've never seen so many running for office. giving up, you know, more lucrative financially than what you earn as a member of congress. they want to make a difference. they want to make a change. they're, i'm sure, pretty frustrated and disgusted about their lot, their wonderful medical profession that many of them have devoted 25, 30 years of their lives to. didn't even get started probably until they were in their early 30's and had $200,000 worth of student loans to pay off. they went through all of that and here now we're going to come along and say, well, you doctors work for us now. you work for the president. you work for ms. sebelius, and
we ought to call the shots. not only are we going to set your salary, and indeed until today, you were facing a 21% cut -- 21% cut over last year in what we reimburse you for anything. seeing a patient doing consultation in your office, making a diagnosis, taking out an appendix, delivering a baby, seeing someone at 2:00 in the morning in the emergency room. if they're medicare, we're going to pay you 21% less. actually, mr. speaker, my colleagues, that went into effect last friday. so any claims that medicare was holding, the doctors will be reimbursed. yeah, ok, in this bill we pass today, they'll be able to hire,
i guess, a new employee that will spend the next several months resubmitting those claims, and maybe within a year, they'll get that 21% cut back. but you know what we did here today? it's amazing. we should have done this months ago. we certainly should have done it last thursday so that this affect, this cut, this 21% cut was not allowed to go into effect. but, madam speaker wanted to hold that up so that these other things could get done and be attached to it. in other words, kind of using ppthis as an incentive to pass some other things that, yes, you guessed it, involves more government spending, more deficit, more debt, and thank goodness our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, especially our republican cloog
-- colleagues said no, we will not vote for that. we are $13 trillion in debt. our deficit for the year is $1.6 trillion, and if you look at it over a 10-year period, it's going to average about $850 billion worth of red ink each and every year over the next 10 years. we're not going to spend another dime on whatever you want to call it. stimulus one, stimulus two, stimulus three. the first one hasn't worked. and yet our speaker wanted to hold out for the passage of that and really figuratively hold a gun to the head of the doctors. well, we finally did pass as a stand-alone measure to mitigate those cuts, but you know what? colleagues, you know what. of course you do. we mitigate it until the end of november. barely six months, and then all of a sudden they're hit with it
again, and if we don't permanently fix this problem, then next year, the cut will be 25%. we had an opportunity in obamacare, patient protection affordable care act, we had an opportunity, and the president promised the doctors at the convention of american medical association in chicago, his hometown, that tort reform would be in there, that payment reform would be in there, in there, the bill, patient protection and affordable care act. but oh no, it was stripped out because it cost too much. but yet we gutted medicare of $500 billion, and $130 billion of it was taken from the medicare advantage program, which fully a fourth of our seniors on medicare get their care from a medicare advantage plan. why?
because screening procedures are offered and paid for, annual physical examinations are authored and paid for. nurses call the patients to make sure that they're taking their medication. that and the medication is paid for. yes, it costs a little bit more and our majority party said, well, we shouldn't be paying more for those programs, but look how much more you're getting. if you believe in wellness rather than treating just episodes of illness, that's why you came up with this program, for goodness sakes. that's why we passed med car part d, the -- medicare part d, the prescription drug part. when you criticized us so severely in 2003 and said, oh, you're not paying for that. it's going to cost another $450 billion on the medicare program
to provide these seniors with prescriptions for their coverage. well, my colleagues, you know -- i know, i'm one of them, are taking five, six medications a day to lower their cholesterol, to lower their blood pressure, to get their blood sugar in line, to make sure they don't end up on renal dialysis, to make sure they don't end up having their coronary arteries bypassed or stinted. this will be a savings in the long run because we won't be paying surgeons to crack people's chests. we won't be paying nursing homes for all these folks that couldn't take medication for the blood pressure that end up with massive strokes. god bless them, they didn't die and they are in nursing homes for the rest of their lives, which may be another 20 years.
so in the long run, that bill was a good bill, and we will save money because we will shift costs from medicare part a and part b to part d, the prescription drug part. + and isn't it a more compassionate way to treat a human being? mr. speaker, i'd like to suggest that we have a lot of good ideas that were ignored, but it ain't over. it ain't over. i've got a couple of posters here i wanted to show my colleagues. i don't know how much more time i have. maybe i'll stop, take a sip of water, and ask the speaker how much longer we have. the speaker pro tempore: 26 minutes remain. mr. gingrey: madam speaker, thank you, thank you very much. when i said, colleagues, that i'm representing the republican minority tonight during what we
call the leadership hour, our democratic colleagues will have the second hour. they may refute every word i've said, madam speaker. i hope not. but they could. but that's what we do up here. it's important that we try to bring as honestly as we can from our own perspective our views so we can learn from each other. but again, as representing the leadership, and as co-chair of the doctors caucus, as you can see on this first slide, this just says, yes, tonight, obamacare: three months later. i'd like for my colleagues to pay attention to the'sle, if you would, because i want to go over a few things, quotes, and promises.
what we were promised, and this is a quote. health care reform that will provide access to quality, affordable health care for all americans is now law. the enacted reforms will help bring down costs for american families and small businesses. it will give all people the security of health insurance that can't be taken away. end of quote. majority leader, the distinguished the gentleman from maryland steny hoyer said that on june 23, 2010. i believe that was wednesday. that was yesterday that steny hoyer made that quote, that statement. well, that's part of what we were promised. here's what we got. colleagues, again, i refer you to the easel. obamacare hurts small businesses, and these three bullet points. small businesses were promised a tax credit to help with
compliance with obamacare. on paper, the credit seems toobe available to companies with fewer than 25 workers and average wages of $50,000. but in practice, in practice, a complicated formula that combines the two numbers works against companies that have more than 10 workers and $25,000 in average wages. i'll give you an example on this same slide, the last bullet point. an illinois furniture supply store owner, zach hoffman, he ran the math -- and his small business, with 24 employees and $35,000 average wages, would with get -- listen carefully, colleagues, if you can't see it -- zero help, because he created too many jobs and he paid them too much. and he's got 24 employees, an average salary of $35,000 and
he's not going to get any help. so much for the promises. more of what we got. more of what we go. obamacare hurts all employees. increased costs. the majority of employers anticipate health care reform will increase health costs. most say they plan to pass on increases to their employees. they have no choice, or reduce health benefits and programs. some say that less benefits will be available for retirees. now, i want to elaborate on this a little bit. more than three in four employers, 85%, believe health care reform will reduce the number of large organizations offering retiree medical benefits, and 43% of employers that currently offer retiree medical plans plan to reduce or
eliminate them. well, let me explain that to my colleagues. shortly after obama care became law, a number of companies, i.b.m. was among the companies, caterpillar. i can name several ores that would be recognized i guess by everybody in the chamber as fortune 500 companies, companies that employ a lot of people, companies who have a lot of retirees who were promised that they would have a health care benefit if they retired at age 50, they could rely on that company providing them health care until they became eligible for medicare, and then i guess it would become secondary to medicare.
but what a great benefit. but after all, when you work for a company, i guess a lot of people don't do that today, madam speaker, but if you spend 25 to 30 years, five days a week, 365 days a year being loyal to that company, you've earned it. it's not a gift. it's something you've earned. and when medicare part d was passed, a lot of concern on the part of the federal government that these companies would just say, well, ok, we'll just drop the coverage for our retirees and, you know, they can -- when they get eligible age-wise for medicare, they'll just pick up their health care then. . a tax break was given in providing the health care benefit for their retirees and
it did include prescription drugs for many of these companies. and all of a sudden this new law, obamacare, patient protection affordable care act, that tax break was taken away. i don't know -- i really didn't realize t. i was on the energy and commerce committee and involved in all of the markups and the back and forth that went on for a year, but i wasn't aware of that provision. but in the aggregate, something like $6 billion worth of tax advaatage to incentivize these companies to continue to pay the health insurance for their retirees was taken away. well, they were required, the companies, as a cost of their bottom line, the s.e.c. requirement was that they immediately let the s.e.c. to know to make a filing to that effect. and they were threatened to be
druged before the energy and commerce committee and prove they weren't lying. now, madam speaker, my colleagues and the american people, that is a pretty scary scenario, is it not? is it not? it's unbelievable is what it is, but these companies submitted all the required documents that the committee demanded and then the committee realized that the compannes were right and they were wrong. this was an ungin -- unintended consequence and this bill is riddled with stories like that. and it's been three months and we are finding something new like that almost every day. here's also what we got as i refer you back.
obamacare hurts all employers. independent survey on obamacare. 97% of employers responded that the legislative changes would cause premiums to rise, and indeed, they have. the survey also examined businesses' fierce about the law's new employer mandate penalties. more than one in four employers, 26% and nearly two in five retailers, 39%, may not be in compliance with provisions requiring coverage of all employees working over 30 hours per week. and finally, of those, a majority, 54% said they would consider changing their business practices so that fewer employees work 30 or fewer hours a week. again, this bill, while it get a
few more people health insurance, it's going to cause so many more people to lose their jobs through that 16 million. as i said earlier, these people, once they have been out of work a while, they want health insurance, but they also want a pay check, because they have to support their families and they'll do everything they can to protect their health. they won't let them walk to school on a busy highway and they'll make sure they are wearing their helmets when they get on their bicycles, but food's not free, clothing isn't free, mortgage payments' not free. the american people have said, we are in a rut, mr. speaker. we're in a ditch. and we think it's time for you to stop digging. you are are making it worse and
digging the hole deeper borrowing all this money and us being $13 trillion in debt. you cannot spend your way out of debt. it's impossible. it's never been done. let's get the country back on its feet and get people back to work and get the unemployment rate down to 6% again. and then we can do the things that we need to do. i've got, madam speaker, i could talk about a number of republican alternatives. wally herger, my good friend from california, ranking member of the health subcommittee in the ways and means introduced a bill that does all the things that we need to do and i can assure you that representative wally herger's bill is not 2,500 pages long. and that's the commonsense sort
of thing. i'm going to mention one other thing to my colleagues and then going to wrap up this evening. i was so disappointed and my physician colleagues were so disappointed when the president did not follow through on his promise to do something about medical liket reform, so-called tort reform -- medical liability reform, so-called tort reform. we have tried many times, but we couldn't get it through the senate. and i have given thought to that and particularly when the c.b.o. says we could save $54 billion over 10 years but i think it's closer to $100 billion every year. but the bill i'm introducing right now called medmal act of 2010. it stands for meaningful end to
defensive medicine and aimless lawsuits. meaningful end to defensive medicine and aimless lawsuits. doctors ordering unnecessary tests and getting criticized on ordering a c.t. scan but i'm telling you they are doing it not to jet up their own revenues but they're scared to death that if that situation where the person has a brain tumor or pending stroke is missed, that they will be sued and not only lose all of their assets, they would lose their profession. we can't continue that way. and i would think republicans and democrats alike, we could join hands and do something about that. i have introduced a bill and i think, madam speaker, it will really make a difference.
and i will be talking about that a lot as we go through these remaining six months of the 111th congress and trying to work my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure it's something that's fair, that our trial attorneys who, for the most part, are great people and very skilled in what they do and representing their clients who have been injured maybe by some doctor or hospital practicing below the standard of care. they deserve their day in court. we don't take that away. that wouldn't be right. but we also try to end this frivolous jackpot justice that exists today and i think this bill will do that. while i don't have time to talk too much about it tonight, madam speaker, i certainly do plan on sharing it with my colleagues maybe next week. well, let me thank you for your attention tonight. i thank my leadership for giving me the opportunity.
probably needed another hour to go over everything i wanted to talk about. i think it's important for us to know, the american people are not done with this. it's really as i said, it's not over until the american people win because that's why we're up here. we are up here to win for the american people, not for the special interests, not for ourselves and we are obligated to do what's right for the american people and i think we can and will do that. ppwith that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the five-minute special order of the the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert is vacated. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 60 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, madam speaker, i appreciate that. and i appreciated my colleague's
insights, somebody who has spent their entire adult life working on the issues of health care and trying to be a healer and a helper, certainly has a good idea about ways to fix our health care system. it's just a shame in the health care bill that got crammed down e's throat here that my friend from georgia as well as so many of the doctors here were not allowed any meaningful input. and it is interesting as we think about the health care bill that was supposed to do so much and you can consider it in light of the speaker's comments that we need to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it, well,
we are beginning to find out more and more. some of us read through the 1,000-page bill and read through the 2,000-page bill and when we get to this one, frankly i put off going through that. i knew there wasn't going to be much sleep for a while while i was trying to get through it and i got through 300 pages. it's tough when you are reading through a bill that references sections and subsections and including laws that actually you go look them up, it's hard to get a grasp. since i have been a judge and dealt with law most of my adult life, sometimes you can pick up things others don't realize. but it really was heartbreaking to realize as more and more pppeople get into this new so-called health care bill just
how much damage is being and will be done. you don't cut $500 billion from medicare and not end up having seniors that don't get the care they need. you don't end up increasing taxes by $500 billion like this did and not hurt job creation in this country. i heard a comment just today from someone who's not a member of congress, an economist. he said you can't love jobs and hate the people that create them. and that seems to be what we're dealing with. we have a health care bill that punishes employers if you dare try to provide health insurance for your employees, then you're
going to end up paying more than you ever dreamed you would. if you don't pay for health care for your employees, you're still, if you have more than 50 employees, going to be paying $2,000 per employee and that's going to get pretty expensive and not help them one witt with their health insurance, but we have done so much damage to jobs, it's just unbelievable. and i'm getting more calls and emails into my office from people who are shocked because they thought once the obamacare bill went through, they would get health care like they never had before. what they're going to get, what people are going to get for the next few years is a lot of extra taxes, $500 billion in extra %%
taxes, and that's not going to be good for the economy. but as we approach the end of the year, a number of the economists have pointed out, things should start picking up the rest of the year if the government doesn't keep interfering and creating problems as it has been because the economy wants to improve itself if we'll just let it. but especially the next six months, things should be improving because when we get to january 1 of 2011, there's going to be the biggest tax increases in american history. january 1 of 2011, it's coming. and we've seen over and over you want to hurt the economy, then just have a big tax increase.
and our friends across the aisle are constantly enjoying saying it's tax cuts that got us into this trouble. it is not. it's the spending that went out of control. and when the republicans have a congress 1995 through 2000, it's the congress that got a balanced budget. the president doesn't pass a budget. he was proposed -- he proposed one. and despite clinton kicking and screaming, he finally came along and signed off oo the billl we had baaanced budgets. the problem came when we had a president who was a republican and a house and senate. you had republicans get iddy and start thinking, gee, maybe the democrats are right. maybe you can show compassion by
just throwing money at a problem. . you can spoil a child by doing that if you're a parent. you can destroy people's desire to work. and i wish more could have benefited from the exchange program from which i'll -- from which i learned so much in 1973. there were other americans that were allowed into the soviet union that summer on this program. at one point, the eight of us were at a collective reform in ukraine, and i was amazed because the fields looked terrible. i'm from east texas. farming and ranching. i worked on farms and ranches. and i couldn't believe how bad their fields looked. just pitful.
look -- pitiful. looked like nobody had been working out there. the sun was eating them up and they weren't doing anything about it. overgrown with weeds and things. anyway, all the farmers in mid morning were sitting in the shade. and i spoke some russian back then and put together the words, and tried to nicely say in russian, you know, when do you work? and they laughed. and one of the guys said in russian, i make the same number of rubles if i'm here or i'm out there in the field, so i'm here. well, there's your lesson on communism. when you end up payinn people the same thing if they're working and sweating and killing themselves to grow crops, or if they're sitting in the shade
laughing, cutting up with their friends, they're going to sit in the shade and laugh and cut up with their friends. it's going to happen. that's why communism has never worked. it will never work. the pilgrims tried a form of it out of a christian thought, well, gee, if we just bring everything to the common storehouse and share things. even the new testament church tried that at one time and it resulted in the apostle paul saying, ok, new rule. you don't work, you don't eat. pilgrims had to do something similar, and they got to a really novel concept. how about if we just give everybody their own private property. it's yours to do what you wish, but you eat what you grow. you have excess. you can trade it, order whatever, use it to buy things. what a novel idea. giving people private property
and letting them be rewarded by the sweat of their brow instead of rewarding their neighbor. many people think that -- and as a christian, i don't speak to ram my beliefs into someone else. but as a christian, if you care, you'd like for people to understand what's at risk. but i hear christians here on the floor who have spoken up and said, you know, jesus said, my children, you've done to me. he said we were to help the widows and orphans. he said we are to help the less fortunate. i was naked and you clothed me. hungry, you fed me. where is that compassion in here? what they miss understand is that jesus never said, go ye
therefore, use and abuse your taxing authority, take somebody else's money, and do your charitable work. he meant for you to do it with your own money, your own effort. not go take from somebody else and legalize your stealing from somebody else so you give to your favorite charity. that was not what he intended. for an orderly society, you would need government, you would need courts. that's why romans 13 talks about the role of government. if you do evil, be afraid, because the government is supposed to be fair. but fairness is not taking in a form of legalized stealing, taking somebody else's money to give to your favorite charity. and that's why after zacheus met jesus, the first thing he did was cut taxes.
he created a 4-1 rebate. but you don't hear that kind of talk a whole lot here. you just hear, oh, you guys are heartless and uncaring. when you think about eagles or birds, it seems to mean and uncaring for a mother to shove that bird out of the nest and force them to learn to fly. it seems mean. it seems uncaring. but unless they do that, they're never going to learn to fly. there are people who could fly in this country, figuratively speaking, and yet the government keeps pushing just enough money into their hands to keep them with just enough money to keep them beholding to the big master here in washington. it's as if there are people here in the city who want people
across america to see us and congress as the big master. and you're the slave, you're the servant. we want you beholden to us. that's not what this nation was founded on. this nation was founded on the ideas, and you read them and hear them, if you study history, how wonderful history teachers -- it breaks my heart to hear people that don't understand where we came from, and the basis for this country. but it was not to lure people into subsistence and dependence on the government. that was never the purpose. it was to inspire people. it was to give them liberty and freedom and say, you can be anything you want tt be. and some of us were blessed to
have parents who loved us and would say that, you can be %% anything you want to be. and now today, unfortunately, surveys are showing indicating 70% of american adults, the first time in our history, are saying we don't believe our children are going to have the opportunities and the liberties and the life as good as we've had it. that is tragic. andthat is why some of us ran for congress, because we are going to do everything in our power to prevent that from happening so our children can have an even better life, better liberty. better freedoms than we had.
it can still happen. but it cannot happen when this government is determined to make people completely reliant on it. one of the things that drove me to run from -- run for congress, to leave the judiciil bench, is i knew judges were not supposed to legislate, and i didn't. sometimes i didn't like the laws. i had to follow, but if we were going to have a rule of law in this country, judges have to follow the laws. and i did. but it was seeing how many examples over and over presented themselves that had indications the government lured these people away from their god-given potential and into ruts from which they could not extricate themselves with no hope of getting out unless they
committed a crime. that's the way it would look to them. now, how did we get so far up field from the foundation of this nation? that inspired people to reach their heights. and i understand. i mean, we all in part were affected by how we're raised and the people that had an impact in our lives, and i'm sure there are those in america who, if they came from a broken home, there are even people who have been given everything with a silver spoon who would seem to have come from nothing, and yet had the best schools all the way pp. had the greatest things. and i can understand if somebody has been given everything their whole life that they've ever wanted, that they would think, well, we need to do that for
other people, beeause look at me, i reached the top, and, you know, i had everything given to me. i never really had a real job, never really had to work to earn things for myself. everything was given to me. so let's just give everything to everybody else. unfortunately, we come back to the quote i read earlier, you can't love jobs and hate the people who create them. doesn't work. and jobs are not created for very long by government without hurting the private sector, meaning eventually, the government takes over everything , provides the jobs, and there's no better example of where that goes than we had in the soviet union. eventually, just like the programs, just like the new testament church, people in
leadership realize we've made a mess. now the question is, can we get back on track? there was one of the caesars that realized that providing bread in circuses had made the people lazy. they were unproductive and it was destroying the roman empire, and he tried to do with bread and circuses, to push people into -- as the mother eagle does. push the baby out of the nest so it will be forced to fly. unfortunately, when you have made them dependent for so long, for too long, they don't fly. they start rioting in the streets. they don't reach their potential. they start destroying what others have and what others have created for themselves, and you eventually destroy society. they had to reinstate the bread and circuses, and they knew there was no way to avoid the
eventually end because people had become too dependent on government. bill graham used to say when you've got one more pulling the -- one more in the wagon than pulling the wagon, the wagon is going to stop. we have gone from 30% of u.s. adults paying income tax, now approaching 50%. and when we get over 50%, if those people that do not pay any taxes or vote, then we're done for, because you'll have people picking the leaders, just as been predicted thousands of years arc you'll have people selecting the leaders based on how much they will be promised from the public treasury, and the public treasury will go
broke. then you're put to the situation that the soviet union had. you can't print it fast enough to get out of debt. you can't borrow enough too sustain you any longer. so you have to announce this country is out of business, we're done. and that's where this country is going. my friends across the aisle, in 2006 -- 2005 and 2006 complained bitterly about deficit spending were right. we should not have been deficit spending. it's a big reason that our friends across the aisle won the majority. . but in the four years since, $160 billion to $1.6 trillion
budget. they said the right things. i thought they believed them. you have to stop deficit spending. yet here, after the majority shifted, we have found ourselves with 10 times the deficit that we were beat up for, properly four, five years ago. the deficits have to stop. we're destroying this country. you look back at what president reagan did. had a great economist, art laffe r, and he said if you cut taxes 30%, you will see this economy explode. unfortunately, that 30% tax cut was put in place over a
three-year period. in 1981, there was a tax cut, in 1982, and 1983 a 20% tax cut. so just as laffer predicted when he got troubled when he heard it was going to be phased in, he said 1981, 1982 are going to be disastrous and in 1983, it will be terrific and that's how president reagan got a second term. the big tax cuts came through. the problem was deficit spending did not stop and it's carried on even today, in that brief interim when the serious republicans took the majority from 1995 to 2000, they balanced the budget, but we have to get back to that. 70% of american adults who think their kids will not have it as good as they did, they will end
up being right. now, look at at the summary judgment that is being utilized these days. you had people that said they believe in the law, and yet, we had a federal judge say you can't act ash temporarily and just ban offshore drilling even though people are doing everything right. well, i betchbetcha if the federal government said we are going to have a moratorium, if we just have a moratorium on british petroleum offshore rigs, that would have been the basis because it appears at least that they cut some corners and you
find out and realize they kind of felt like someone here in washington had their back. they were working with this administration, with the democratic majority particularly in the senate, to pass a number of bills that most people think were not a good idea. but the tarp bill, british petroleum supported that, the stimulus bill. most people think all these big oil companies, they're all republican. well, if you look, just like wall street, wall street gives four-to-one to democrats over republicans and british petroleum, they were working closely with the administration and with democrats in the
majority. as one article talks about senator kerry communicating with, working with british petroleum to try to pass the crap and trade bill at the time the deepwater horizon blew out. it is beginning to appear that british petroleum used a cheap way of drilling in such deep water. it shouldn't have been used in such deep water. that's what is beginning to appear to be the case and that they felt like -- it seems like there was an attitude that we don't have to worry. we are big buddies with the white house and with the majority, they got our backs. we can cut corners. you know, and so we find out minerals management service send out their two-man you unionized
father and son team to be the last team to inspect the deepwater horizon. there are stories about how the inspections weren't occurring as they should and there were gifts exchanging hands, all kinds of problems. we find out a lady who was in the clinton administration that actually signed the notice about the deepwater offshore leases back in 1999 and 1998 that pulled the price adjustment language which apparently has cost our country billions of dollars from its treasury where they should have gone to big companies like british petroleum, turned out that lady went to work for british petroleum from 2001 until 2009 and then june, 2009, she came back to work for minerals
management service. and even though we heard from the deputy secretary of interior, well, we've recused her from areas where she may have a conflict. give me a break. no wonder someone thought that the white house had their back they could go cheaply and cut corners and make extra profit because they were in with the powers that be in the washington. they were in. they were in favor of the crap and trade bill. they supported tarp. they supported the stimulus. and this sthration loved having a big oil company that supported them on this stuff so they could tout that. b.p. thought they had their back covered and it was only when after a number of weeks when it became very clear that the
american public was furious appropriately at british petroleum that the administration realized they needed to throw them under the bus and so they finally did. but what better thing to do if you are going to hurt one of your friends by throwing them under the bus, then just hurt all the oil companies so they are all hurt equally except the one we heard on television that may be george sorros', over $900 million to drill off brazil. we loaned them money. have a moratorium. but in this article about the deepwater drilling ban and the federal judge that lifted it, this article indicates that -- and this is from bloomberg, it
indicates that judge felledman granted a preliminary injunchings halting the moratorium and prohibited the u.s. from enforcing the ban. government lawyers told the judge and u.s. report following the sinking the rig off the louisiana coast in april. but then the judge, after he reviewed that said, quote, the court is unable to fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium. end of quote. blanket moratoriuu with no parameters seems toll assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet knows why, all companies and all rigs drilling new wells over 500 neat also universally present an
imminent danger. i bet if they imposed a moratorium on this administration's former dear friend and the majority, particularly in the senate, dear friend british petroleum, then that moratoriim probably would have held. because there seem to be indications they were cutting corners. but the judge said this also, quote, the court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency, but the agency must, quote, cogently explain why it has exercised its discretion in this manner. and the judge said, it has not done so and it must be prohibited in order to avoid irreparable harm. and then what seemed to be
offensive more so from this administration was announcing that there would be an appeal even before the opinion was read . it's as if this administration really and truly does not care about the law. we saw that with the ought oove task force. says there has to be time for alternative plans for re-organization, secured creditors take the first, unsecured creditors take last and least. those laws were turned -- just thrown out by an auto task force meeting in the white house, appointed by the president, without any confirmation from the senate or input from congress. we couldn't find out what was discussed in those meetings. they threw aside the bankruptcy law and threw aside the constitution that says before
you take property, there must be due process, threw those laws to the side, completely dismembered the constitution and bankruptcy laws and found a bankruptcy judge, perhaps since they have to be reappointed and it's not a lifetime and this bankruptcy judge was hoping to be reappointed, perhaps he was hoping for a lifetime appointment, but the judge signed off on it, clearly illegally. the supreme court should have stopped it, but apparently the administration scared enough of the supreme court judges that if they held up this bankruptcy plan and the sale to an italian, far inferior car company, then all people in the car business would lose their jobs and they used scare tactics and got even
the supreme court to walk away from the constitution and ignore it. and this is the kind of thing we see now. won't even read the opinion of the judge to see if it makes sense. just simply announces, we're going to appeal. but then again, what would you expect from an administration that didn't have the decency to call the governor of arizona and say, you know what, governor? we owe you an apology. we are so sorry. we should have been doing our job as a federal government. we should not have allowed 75% of gang members who are violent in this country to be here illegally. we shouldn't have allowed illegals to destroy wilderness area national parks and put people at life and liberty at
risk, property at risk. we shouldn't have allowed that to happen to arizona. we should have done our job. and we're sorry. oh, no, that didn't happen. instead the secretary of state was sent to ecuador to tell ecuador since i guess the administration thinks we owe ecuador more than we owe one of the 50 states or the u.s. citizens -- we owe more to ecuador apparently, so they were told about the lawsuit that would be forth coming against arizona's law from people who announccd without ever reading the law that it was a terrible thing. it was racist, it was profiling and they haven't even read the law. you know, it's scary. it's really scary what's going
on around here when the law doesn't matter. i never thought i would see a time in our country's history like this where the law doesn't matter. i really enjoyed the "o'reilly show" on fox but i heard him say what's wrong with a c.e.o. having the attorney general there who has already announced he is investigatinn and what he wants to charge them with a crime, have him sitting there for no other reason obviously other than to intimidate the c.e.o. of british petroleum and get them to fork up a $20 billion fund. there's a reason. but not one man in this country is supposed to have that. bill o'reilly thought it was
fine and he would go with a machine gun and force them to give up that kind of money. and i hope and pray he got carried away when he made that comment and really doesn't believe that, because what that would be saying is, that when someone does something hideous as what bitish petroleum has done here, taking lives, destroying landscape, destroying vast areas, it's ok if you become a criminal if they have been so very negligent. it's not ok to have someone's negligence force you to become a criminal. we have to be above those things and we have to follow the law. and there are laws that say you cannot abuse your office by threatening prosecution unless
someone does something financially that you direct. . these are just amazing times when smart people with wisdom on most occasions are letting that go to the wind as a result of some heinous negligent, maybe at some point we'll find out criminally negligent activity as we've seen from british petroleum. we owe it to arizona and the people of the united states to enforce the borders. there are people coming into this country who want to destroy our way of life. i talked to a retired f.b.i. agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system and it appeared they would have young women who became pregnant, would get them into the united states to have a
baby, they wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby, and then they would return back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists and then one day, 20, 30 years down the road they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life because they figured out how stupid we are being in this country, to allow our enemies to game our system, hurt our economy, get set up in a position to destroy our way of life and we won't do anything about it, we'll seen sue a state -- even sue a state that tries to do something about it. we have a national park down in the arizona-mexico border that now has signs posted to warn american citizens not to go into the area because it's being used by people illegally there.
you know, it's kind of like those spaces of road where a city just doesn't want to spend the money to fix a hole or a bump and so instead of fixing the problem they just pick up a sign -- stick up a sign saying bump. that's what we're doing. we have got a problem, people are putting life and limb and sacred fortunes at risk and all we're doing is putting up a sign saying, this is a dangerous area, you probably don't want to come over here. let's see, roughly, this is an article from fox news, anyway, quoting from the article, roughly 3,500 acres of the buenos aires national wildlife refuge, about 3% of the 118,000 acre park, have been closed
since october 6 of 2006 when u.s. fish and wildlife service officials acknowledged a marked increase in violence along a tract of land that extends north from the border roughly 3/4 of a mile. federal officials say they have no plans to reopen the area. we just got to let the illegal violent people have that property and u.s. citizens can't use it. it's being closed. article said elsewhere, or began pipe cactus monument, a 32-mile stretch, visitors are warned on a federally-run web -- federally run website that some areas are not accessible by anyone. quote, due to our proximity to the international boundary with mexico, some areas near the border are closed for construction and visitor safety concerns. the website reads.
we aren't going to fix the bump in the road, we're just going to put up a sign that says bump. why don't you spend the money from the sign to stop the problem? and instead a state like arizona is driven to try to protect itself. now, we have got an area down there, wilderness area, in this park, the organ pipe cactus national park, with a 32-mile stretch, the wilderness area, you can't even drive a vehicle, border patrol can't drive a vehicle into that area. helicopter can't land in that area. border pafrol's not allowed to adequately do their job there. how crazy is that? because we've got massive numbers of illegals, some violent, as we found out, coming in there and doing damage and putting our nation at risk and
instead we declared it off limits to our own people. you can't keep a country going when you have that little regard for the country's future safety and current safety -- safety. now, it's interesting, too, under the u.s. laws, the border patrol can go into private land along the u.s. border, mexico or canada, can go into -- up to 25 miles away from the border to do their jobs except in this national park area. they're not allowed to go in to do their job there. that's why i've prepared a bill that would direct the secretary of the interior of border patrol, and this is the way it works in this country, in this government, we have to have a
steady -- study done to see what would be the appropriate amount of land before we're going to -- we're allowed to transfer it, but this bill would require a steady -- study be completed to determine the buffer area needed to allow for border protection and for environmental protection on lands administered by the department of interior, along the border of arizona and mexico. and then we'd have to come back very quickly, i put in six months, they want to have two years normally, we haven't got that kind of time, but come back, tell us how much would be appropriate to convey over to -- away from the park so we can adequately control our border. it's the only thing that makes sense in that regard. and i'm hoping that many of my colleagues will sign onto that bill. another thing we've done here is
we today passed a bill making tougher sanctions regarding iran and they are tougher sanctions. that's a good thing. the trouble is it has taken so long to get sanctions in place and the centrifuges in iran have been spinning for so long, that according to the iaea, they have enough nuclear material to make two bombs now. well, let's think about that. i have a resolution hereeand i'm hoping, madam speaker, that we'll have people that will get on board, i think i've got around 50 co-sponsors, but there's no reason that most of the congress should not be sponsoring this bill, and so i would submit the following, this is from the bill that has been crafted and i'm proposing,
whereas is as follows, whereas with the modern zionism, the national liberation movement of the jewish people, some 150 years ago, the jewish people determined to return to their homeland in the land of israel from the lands of their dispersian. whereas in 1922 the league of nations mandated that the jewish people were the legal sovereigns over the land of israel and legal mandate has never been superseded, whereas in the aftermath of the nazi-led holocaust from 1933 to 1945 in which the germans and their collaborators murdered six million jewish people, in a premeditated act of genocide, the international community recognized that the jewish state built by jewish pioneers must gain its independence from great britain. whereas the united states was the first nation to recognize
israel's independence in 1948 and the state of israel has since proven their self to be a faithful ally of the united states in the middle east. whereas the united states and israel have a special friendship based on shared values and together share the common goal of peace and security in the middle east, whereas on october 20, 2009, president barack obama rightfully -- rightly noted that phe united states-israel relationship is, a, quote, bonds that is much more than a strategic alliance, unquote, whereas the national security of the united states, israel, and allies in the middle east faced a clear and present danger from the government of the islamic republic of iran, seeking nuclear weapons and the ballistic missile capability to deliver them. whereas israel would face a threat from a nuclear
weapons-armed iran, whereas president barack obama has been firm and clear in declaring united states opposition to a nuclear-armed iran, stating on november 7, 2008, quote, let me state, repeattwhat i stated during the course of the campaign, iran's development of a nuclear weapon, i believe, is unacceptable, unquote. and if i might interject here, this bill is drafted to be extremely bipartisan, to show that people on both sides of the aisle have the same concerns. we just got to get people signed on as co-sponsors so that we can get this to the floor for a vote. but going back to the resolution, whereas on october 26, 2005, at a conference in tehran called world without
zionism, iranian president ahmadinejad, stated, quote, guide willing, with the force of god behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the united states and zionism, unquote, whereas "the new york times" reported that during his october 26, 2005, speech, president ahmadinejad called for, quote, this occupying regime, israel, to be wiped off the map, unquote. whereas on april 14, 2006, iranian president ahmadinejad said, quote, like it or not, the zionist regime, israel, is headed -- heading toward annihilation, unquote. whereas on june 2, 2008, iranian president ahmadinejad said, quote, i must announce that the zionist regime, israel, with a
60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal, is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene, quoint. -- unquote. whereas on june 2, 2008, iranian president ahmadinejad said, quote, today the time for the fall of the satanic power of the united states has come. and the countdown to annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started. whereas on may 20, 2009, iran successfully tested a service to service long range missile with an range of 1,200 miles, which, by the way, if it were on a ship off the texas coast, could get it up to the middle of the country, 300 miles up, which, if
exploded, as well known among those who have looked at the issue, would create an electromagnetic pulse, an e.m.p., which some experts have told us will fly -- fry every computer chip in the country, and indications are even wal-mart would not be able to sell a product. electricity would not be generated, it just is important to know what 1,200 miles means. anyway, whereas iran continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons, whereas iran has been caught building three secret nuclear facilities since 2002, whereas iran continues its support of international terrorism, has ordered its proxy, hezbollah, to carry out catastrophic acts of international terrorism such as the bombing of the jewish amia
center in bunes arizona, argentina -- buenos aires, argentina, and could give a nuclear weapon to a terrorist organization in the few turks, whereas iran has -- future, whereas iran has denied to give full transparency and access to its nuclear program, whereas united nations security council resolution 1803 states that according to the international atomic energy agency, quote, iran has not established full and sustained suspension of all enriched related and reprocessing activities and heavy water related -- water related projects as set in the resolution, 2006, 1737, 2006, and 7047-2007, nor resumed its cooperation with the iaea under the additional the pro coal, nor taken the other steps required by the iaea board of governors,
nor complied with the provisions of security council resolution 1696 from 2006, 1737 from 2006 and 1747 from 2007. . iran was given a september, 2009 deadline to start negotiations over its nuclear programs and iran offered a five-page document quoting, the ungodly ways and included various subjects but left out any mention of iran's own nuclear program which was the true issue in question. whereas the united states has been committed to finding a peaceful solution and has
boundless efforts and determined to such a resolution is possible. and whereas the united states does not want or seek war with iran, but it will continue to keep all options open to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. now therefore be it resolved that the house of representatives condemns the government, number one, condemns the government of the islamic republic of iran for its thress of quote annihilating the united states and state of israel and continued support of genocide of the israeli people. two, supports all means -- using all means of persuading the government of iran to stop building and acquiring nuclear weapons and three, reaffirms the united states bonds with israel and pledges to continue work with the government of israel and the people of israel to
ensure that their sovereign nation continues to receive critical economic and military assistance, including missile defense capabilities needed to address the threat of iran, and, four, expresses support for israel's right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by iran, defend israeli soncht and protect the lives and safety of the israeli people, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within a reasonable time. that's what we should have been passing today instead of sanctions because the sanctions have not been productive. the centrifuges continue to turn and ahmadinejad continues to make threats. another thing that's been going on is the snub erie of israel by
this -- snubbery by this administration and the incredible hurtful vote of israel's enemies to force them to open up and reveal their most powerful defenses, similar to what hee a/k/a ya 2,000 years before there was a muhammad. in fact, thomas never had enough to teach her the truth. 1,000 years before hez a/k/a ya after he showed the bab
loanians. you don't show your enemies all of your defenses, your strongest defenses because they'll figure out a way to defeat them. because this administration has been rather rude to prime minister netanyahu, there's a letter that i'm hopeful, mr. speaker, that members will join in signing, bipartisan, speaker pelosi and leader reid, letter says, this letter is to simply state the obvious need of the prime minister of our dear friend israel to address a joint session of congress. he has been here in washington on numerous occasions but not addressed a joint session of congress since 1996. we have envited over 100 leaders of 50 different countries to speak before joint sessions of congress with enemies of israel
and united states looking for weaknesses we can show them that israel is our friend and will be our friend and we want to hear from prime minister netanyahu with the magnitude of international events and tensions swirling in recent years and the threat of nuclear proliferation in the middle east, it is desperately important we show the world our relationship with israel by inviting prime minister netanyahu to come and address this body. the sooner we do this, the more stabilizing it will be. we extend the invitation to prime minister netanyahu to address a joint session of congress as soon as possible. if the enemies were to see both sides of the aisle standing and applauding the prime minister of israel, the message couldn't be more clear. it needs to be clear and
unequivocal. we support our friend and there is not a great deal of distance between our two countries. we're close friends. and if i might inquire how much time is remaining. the speaker pro tempore: 2 1/2 minutes. mr. gohmert: in closing, let me just refer to this little bible my aunt says my uncle received going into world war ii from the federal government when he went to the army, it says may the lord be with you. and i realize this may be the last couple of minutes we are in session. so these are words of franklin d. roosevelt, white house, washington, as commander in chief, i take pleasure in commending the reading of the bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the united states.
throughout the centuries, men of many faiths and diverse religions have found in this book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. it is a fountain of strength and now as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul. franklin roosevelt had a good idea there. and i commend that, mr. speaker. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. gohmert: mr. speaker, at this time, i would move that we now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to.
>> in a little more than an hour, defense secretary robert gates talks with reporters about why he is supporting the president's decision to replace general stanley mcchrystal. after that, a tour of one of the areas in louisiana affected by the gulf oil spill. later, president obama and russian president medvedev hold a joint news conference. >> next week, watch the
confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee elena kagan, like, starting monday at 12:30 p.m. eastern on the c-span network and at c-span.org and watched replays of each day's hearing every night on c-span2. >> in response to a supreme court ruling allowing certain campaign spending, the house has passed a bill setting new campaign finance reporting rules for corporations, unions, and interest groups. the bill requires individuals and groups to disclose when they paid for campaign ads. this portion of the debate is a lot more than an hour. the chair: the house is ithe committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5175, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend the federal election campaign act of 1971 to prohibit forge influence in federal election,
prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections and to establish diadecisional disclosure requirements in respect to such elections and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read for the first time. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman rom pennsylvania, mr. brady will control 20 minute, and the gentleman from california, mr. lungren will control 30 minutes and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brady: i stand with the american people and the house leadership inport of h.r. 5175, the democracy is strengthened by casting light on elections act, or disclose act. it's designed to bring greater transparency to election spending. it was reinforced by the supreme court decision that reaffirmed the constitutionally d necessity of laws that
require this disclosure of political spending. our democracy requires transparency and accountability in our political campaigns. knowing the source of political spending allows us to investigate the motives and better judge the accuracy of the statements of the spenders and candidates. the disclosure requirements for corporations, unioos, and other brupes that make campaign-related expenditures for the purpose of engaging in campaign related activity this improvement to current disclosure requirements allows voters to follow the money and ensure that special interest money can't hide behind sham organizations and shell corporations. the supreme court has recognized it essential to hold people accountable. voters have the right to know who is trying to buy our leches. the bill requires c.e.o.'s and
highest ranking officials of corporations that sponsor political advertisements to record stand by your ad disclaimers as well as protest taxpayers dollars from misuse by eventing certain government contractors from making campaign related expenditures. the disclosure act also closes a loophole creebate citizens united to ensure foreign corporations and foreign governments aren't able to influence elections by spending unlimited sums through united states subsidiaries or affiliates. by allowing them to make campaign contributions, foreign players could use limitless funds to influence the election. the bill is designed to accommodate nonprofit issues advocacy group who have long participated in politica activity of which their members are aware.
the bill must have more than 500,000 dues paying members in all 50 states, have had tax exempt status for the past 10 years and derive no more than 50% of its funding from corporate or union sources. it cannot use corporate or union money to pay for campaign-related expenditures. the narrowness of the esting law will make it impossible to have a dummm or sham group. those exempted will be required to file publicly available reports explaining their campaign related expenditures and staff will need to appear in and take responsibility for -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. brady: i yield myself 30 seconds. the disclose act ensures accountability and provides prompt and honest disclosure
about those seeking to influence our elections. it's been considered by the house and senate with 30 expert witnesses. citizens are concerned about the citizens united decision urging congress to quickly consider legislation that addresses the problems created by the ruling. i yield myself 30 more seconds. this support in the disclose act reflects the will of the american people and commands the support of the -- the support of the representatives. in addition to that, with 140 co-sponsors and a broad spectrum of support, it promotes open politics. if we don't pass this, the public will be left to wonder who is being served by the negative advertising dominating campaigns.
i urge all members to support thregs and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. lungren. mr. lungren: thank you, mr. speaker. obviously if you attempt to speak on the floor and your microphone is not near you, or they have turned it off, you can't exercise your right to represent your constituents here. i yield mylf such time as i may consume. that is the problem with this bill. it does not allow the free exercise of the first amendment right to speech. the constitution of the united states refers to that first amendment and unfortunately, in many, many decisions by the supreme court thaverbing talked about everything other than political speech. yet in the citizens united
vvrsus federal election commissn case, the court finally got it right. the majority opinion says the first amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints, prohibited, too, are restrictions prohibiting different speakers, allowing speech from some and not from others. that's exactly what this bill does. benjamin franklin stated, whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must again by subduing the freeness of speech. unfortunately, that is what we have here before us. mr. speaker. or mr. chairman. just because you call something disclose or disclosure doesn't make it so. when you prohibit speech as has been done here, when you have onerous disclosure obligations placed on some but not all,
when you make no distinguishing, that is, constitutionally justifiable distinguishing differences between groups, that is you cause some to be subjected to provisions of disclosure and others not, when you specifically have five or six provisions in which you exempt unions as opposed to corporations of all stripes when you've rendered the bill unconstitutional. mr. chairman, i would have asked, if it were proper, to have unanimous consent request to extend our debate for four hours. but i know that's not in order. the majority has decided to stifle debate by allowing only a single hour on the debate of -- of debate onthis issue %%
dealing directly with the first amendment. we have spent in excess of 10 hours in this congress talking about the naming of post offices. but we have determined we do not have more time than%% an ho to discuss something as important as the first amendment to the constitution. when we allow ourselves to become an auction house for the first amendment, where some, because of their power and influence, are allowed to exercise first amendment rights, unfettered, and others are not, it is a sorry day. and to do it under the rubric of disclosure is even worse. but that's what we have here. mr. chairman, in the time given to us, i hope we can explain exactly what thissbill does and what it does not do and why it, in fact, not only is dangerous
to the first amendment, but is directed at the heart of the first amendment, wwich is vigorous political speech, particularly close to an election. it may make some members uncomfortable. in some of the hearings and markup of this bill we had members saying, if i had my way, i'd make sure no one could say anything about our campaigns except those of us who are candidas. unfortunately, there's something called the first amendment. i know it's bothersome to some on t other side. i know it's an obstacle to what they want to do. when i came here, i took an oath to uphold the constitution in all parts, not just the second amendment, by way of specific exemption, but by -- of all amendments, the first as well as the second and every other. with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i
yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: ladies and gentlemen of the house, this is the most disturbing debate that i have engaged in in the 111th congress, and to hear what i have already heard from one of the most distinguished members of the judiciary committee is a little bit dismaying to me. let me say this. i'll answer one his questions. whatoes the bill do? p agree. i'd love four hours. perhaps we'll be debating this bill after the vote regardless of its outcome. this bill roll back the decision, blatant decision of
citizens united and the supreme court by using the three tools that the court said that we could do to make their decision different. first, we can increase disclosure. two, you can require disclaimer requirements on advertise -- advertisements. and three, we can limit foreign influence in our elections. one, two, three. now, the danger of citizens united decision, the most shocking decision i have read and the supreme court and many, many years -- in many, many years is the threat of groups who attack candidates for office wiihout ever having to tell
people which corporations are are bank rolling these ads. this is what the disclose act, the bill on the floor, is designed to prevent. this bill permits some long established advocacy groups follow some of the new discsure requirements, but if these groups take more than 15% of the money from corporations, then all the requirements. discle sure act kick in. -- dclosure act kick in. and they have to stand by their ads just like candidates do. and citizens united, justice stevens, who argued that the much more persuasive -- with much more persuasive reasoning, his position in this case, dissenting, said this, the
constitution does, in fact, prevent numerous restrictions on the speech of some in order to prevent a few from drowning out the many. for example, restrictions on ballot access and on legislators' floor time. he stated that corporations are categorically different from individuals. and the context of election to public office, the disticks 2003 -- distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. although they make enormous contribbtions to our society, corporations are not aatually members of it. they cannot vote or run for office.
because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interest may conflict in fundamental respects with the interest of eligible voters. then they close with this sentence. ou lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially dilatorious effects of corporate spending in local and national races. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania.
>> mr. chairman, i would like to yield to the gentlelady from california, zoe lofgren, a + valued member of house administration, four minutes. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for four minutes. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, the supreme court's decision in the citizens united case fundamentally alters the political landscape as a result of the court's ruling all organizations, corporations, and unions are free to take unlimited corporate money and make unlimited political expenditures. this could allow corporations to simply take over the political system. according to a report late ast year by common cause, the average amount spent for winning a house seat in the 2008 cycle was $1.4 million. during the same cycle exxonmobil recorded $80 billion in profits. if exxonmobil chose to use just 1% of heir profits op political activity, it would be more -- on political activity, it would be more than all 435 winning
congressional candidates spent in that election cycle. that's just 1% of the profits of one corporation. according to the supreme court, we cannot limit what corporations can say or what they can spend, but we can require them to disclosehat they are doing to the american public. i'll read you what the court said in its decision. i quote. the first amendment protects political spch and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. this transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper wait to different speakers and messages. that's what this bill does. it does exactly what the supreme court says that we could do and shld do, and that is to require disclosure, to require transparency. in the past transparency has been a bipartisan issue.
senator mitch mcconnell was quoted in april saying we need to have real disclosure. why would a ltle disclosure be bett than a lot of disclosure? republican leader john boehner in twetch said, i think we ought -- what we ought to do, we ought to have full disclosure and went on to say i think that sunlight is the best disinfectant. this measure, the disclose act, has been supported by government reform groups including common cause, league of women voters, and public citizens. senate majority leader harry reid and the chairman of the senate rules committee have released a letter indicating their strong commitment to senate action on the disclose act. the white house strongly supports the disclose act. the president says he'll sign this bill when it comes to his desk. now, i ask my colleagues, will you stand with the american people in calgary for -- calling for disclosure and transparency in the political process?
or will you allow corporations to overtake our democracy with the expenditure of undisclosed,% limitless amounts of money? i think that we should stand with the american people. we should vote for t%%he disclo act. disclosure is good. voters need to know who is saying what. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: at this time, mr. chairman, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, a valued member of our committee. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. for how long? mr. harper: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman i recognized. mr. harper: if there is anything in the hearings on this bill and subsequent discussion taught us, it is that the bill is far from clear. theeauthors of the bill say it does one thing, the experts says it does another. the majority's own witnesses have said it will be up to the
f.c.c. to decide what the language means. this conclusion and am big gute would be bad enough in any bill, but it is especially bad here. this bill has implementing language that makes it take effect 0 days after ectment. regardless of whether the f.c.c. has published regulations. indeed one of the majority's witnesses said at a hearing it would be next to impossible for the s.e.c. to promulgate regulations before the november elections. that means as we move toward elections just four months away, and americans consider how to express their views, there will be no guidance to clear up the bill's am big gute, no instructions for how to comply, and no way to participate in the political process where your speech will not land you in jail. mr. chairman, this bill is going to impose civil and criminal penalties on speakers without them having any notice that their behavior may be against the law. what that means is that rather than exercising their first
amendment rights, speakers are just going to stay silent.%% as former united states solicitor general ted olson statee in our committee's may 6 hearing, so we are saying that you have to guess what the law is because the governme can't even tell you what the law is. if you guess wrong, you may be sent to jail or you may be prosecuted. those who seek to challenge this bill's ambiguous and potentially unconstitutional provisions in court are going to be faced with a judicial review process designed for delay and ppfrustration. the procedure in this bill conflicts with the processes created in both the federal election campaign act and the bipartisan campaign reform act. opening the door to collateral litigation to decide what court to be in before the case is even heard. section 401 of this bill is congressional forum shopping. the only conclusion one can draw from the immediate implementation without regulatory guidance and
protracted court process is that this bill is designed to efect the outcome of the 2010 elections. indeed, one need not guess to know that this is true. a letter sent earlier this week from senate majority leadership to house majority leadership pledged to work tirelessly so the bill can be sign the president in time to take effect ffr the 2010 eltions. there it is, mr. chairman. the proponents of the bill want this house to pass legislation in time to affect the outcomes of the 2010 elections. they have refused our proposals to make this bill effective in 2011 because they want to change the law this year to affect this election, no matter there will be no explanatory regulations and no review to ensure that the law complies with the constitution. so the end result is -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: additional minute. mr. harper: the end result is the bill's proponents are rushing it into eect before the regulators or the regulated
community are ready. doing what they can to del court review and taking those steps despit their obvious expectation that parts of the bills will not survive judicial scrutiny. the only reason it makes sens has to do with the elections coming up in just over four months. the house should reject this attempt to pass the bill that could alter the outcome of its own elections and let the voters decide this for themselves. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield the gentleman from maryland, chris van hollen, author of the legislation, three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to start by thanking chairman brady and ms. lofgren and the other members of the coittee as well as chairman conyers and mr. nadl and those on the judiciary committee. and to mike castle nd the other
co-sponsors of this legislation. phich addresses the very serious threats to our democracy, created by the supreme court's decision in citizens united. which in a very radical departure from precedent said that major corporations, including foreign-controlled corporations operating in the united states, will be treated like american citizens for the purposes of being able to spend unlimited millions amount of money in our elections. this bill addresses this issue in three ways. first we say if you are a foreign controlled corporation, if you are british petroleum, if you are a chinese wealth fund that controls a corporation her% in the united states, if you are citgo controlled by hugo chavez, you have no business spending money in u.s. elections, overtly or secretly. if we don't do something about that now, they'll be able t do either of those things. number two, we say if you are a
federal contractor, if you are getting over $10 million from the american taxpayer, or you are a.i.g., you shouldn't be recycling those moneys into elections to try and influence the body that gave you the contracts, because there is a greater danger of corruption in the expeiture of those moneys. and third, we require disclosure. we believe the voter has a right to know. you would think from the comments from the other side of the aisle we are restricting what people an say. that's not true. you can say anything you want in any ad you want. what you can't do is hide behind the darkness. not tell people who you are. voters have a right know when they see an ad going on with a nice sounding name, the fund for a better america, they have a right to know who is paying for it. they have a right to know if b.p. ipaying for it. they have a right to know if any corporation or big bucks individual is paying for it. because it's a way to give them information to access the
credibility of the ad. . you vote no on this, tell corporations say what you want, but we're not going to let the voters know who you are. the reason the league of women voters, common cause, public citizen, democracy 21, all organizations that have devoted, devoted themselves to clean and fair elections, support this legislation. because they understand that the american voter has a right to know who is spending all these moneys on these ads and they don't want foreign controlled corporations dumping millions of dollars into u.s. elections. so my colleagues, i hope%% that we will move foard on this to make sure that the voice of citizens is not drowned out by
secret spending by the biggest corporations, including foreign controlled corporations. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlemann-- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i'm pased to recognize the chairman of the constitution subcommittee, jerry nadler of new york, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the disclose act. earliethis year, the supreme court reversed decades of precedents and ruled that corporations are individuals like you and me and can put as much money into elections as they want. it distorts our political process. the very real danger now is that corporations will be able to use vast sums of
concentrated money to further corrupt our political ppocess and drown out the voices of everyone else. without objection action as a result of this latest activist supreme court decision, our electoral system will be at the mercy of large meyed interests. this bill takes several critical steps to reclaim our elections. the most important one is that it would require disclosures of donors providing money for political purposes in certain circumstances and mandate that they appear in political ads to say they, quote, approve this meage, just as candidates do. it would set some limits on money in politic, not by limiting the money but by requiring disclosure of the source of the corporate money to show which interests are behind which advertising. i no many people opposed contributions previously said
don't limit the political expenditure the solution is disclosure. let people know who is sponsoring the ads, thawill safeguard the elections. i don't think disclosure is enough but it's all the supreme court will a lou us to do. now people who argued for disclosure for years are saying it's a restriction on free speech, it's disturbing. recognized for an additional the chair: the gentleman is minute. mr. nadler: it's important that ads from citizens for a cleaner environment are from b.p. theierra club to know how it affects their decisions. there are obligations to disclose contributors.
to limit -- by limiting it to those that have been in existence for at least a decade have members in each of the 50 states and receive no more than 50% of its funding from unions and corporations. we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the gheesmed disclose act would make a vast and substantial difference in protecting the integrity of our elections andky not think of a more important bill. i urge all my colagues to support this bill despite its imperfections. i thank you and i yield back the balan of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: at thii time, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. carthy a valued member of our committee. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: mr. chairman, just a block away from this building, the capitol, stands the supreme court.
like many other courthouses across this country, it bears the image of theoddess of justice. many of you know the statue. she holds a set of scales symbolizing the fairness and equality of law she wears a bndfold, symbolizing impartiality. unfortunately, this bill does not represent either ofhose issues. like so many other bill this is house democratic leadership has forced onto the floor this bill suffers from the same taint, the provisions in this bill are the result of backroom negotiatio and special deals to exempt powerful interest groups at the expense of smaller ones. but the unfortunate thing about this bill today is that rather than represent -- than respect the first amendment promise to prooect the speech of all americans, it attempts to use the first amendment as a partisan sledge hammer to silence certain speakers in
favor of others. especially unions. mr. chairmanthis bill bans corporations with government contracts over $10 million from political speech. the sponsor says that's becau thoscontractors might try to influence decisions by government officials. but this bill does nothing for the labor unions who are parties to collective bargaining, agreements with he governments. even though unions have huge amounts of money at stake and every incentive to influence decisions about the contracts by government officials, it does nothing. we offered an amendment to upheld the fairness and equality but that was rejected in the committee. a second example, mr. chairman is we all agree that foreign citizens shouldn't influence our leches, whether they are foreign citizens that are part of foreign corporations or foreign citizens part of a union with interests in the
united states. this bill requires c.e.o.'s to certify under penalty of perjury that their companies are not foreign nationals. under the newlyy+ expanded standard of the bill. but the bill does nothing to ensure that when labor unio are spending money on elections, that money did not come from people who are themselves prohibited from spending noun influence american elections. again, we offered an amendmeet to treat corporations and unions equally under the bill byequiring the same certify scation of labor union chiefs but again, it was rejected. mr. chairman, a third example. i point to the centerpiece provision of this bill. the so-called disclosure requirement. the bill requires organizations to disclose information about the individuals who ve more than $600. but the federal election committee asked everybody else to do it at $200. as one of the majority members of our committee --
the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungre i yield the gentleman an additiol minute. the chair: the gentleman is cognized. mr. mccarthy: as one member of the committee asked, where did the money come from? it's enough to make unions not have to report any of their dues. the average for a union is $377 in 2004. it treats them different than we treat every other american and every other campaign. 10 while candidates and political parties have to itemize contributions from donors about $200, we have a different rule in this bill. a rule apparently designed for the convenience of unions. we offered an amendment to make this disclosure requirement the same as how all federal laws long require ared disclosure of donors but it was rejected. rather than spending time today listening to americans and addressing the number one priority in this country, helping to create jobs and grow the economy, again and again i
watch this congress mired in its partisan priorities. i listen to the gentleman from maryland. he happens to be the chairman of the democratic congressional committee. the chair: the gentleman is -- the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: the back room deal was not done. i started this speech thinking of the goddess of justice and i go through this bill, the blindfold is taken off and the thumb is put on the scale to weigh to one side. this does not honor the first amendment or the fairness of what this buildinggrepresents. i ask for a no vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: how much time is left on both sides. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 150 minutes, the gentleman from michigan has 2 1/2 minutes, and the
gentleman from california has 17 1/2 minutes. mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california, another valued member of the use administration, ms. susan davis. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the disclose act. under current law, yes, it is correct that groups must disclose their name, their name and advertisements and file a disclore form. but you know, that doesn't tell anyone very much at all. right now, voters see tv ads sponsored by organizations they've never heard of. groups like the american future fund. american leadership project. citizens for strength and security.
common sense in america. and today i'm getting calls from the campaign for liberty. but they will not tell us who they are. does anybody know who they are? in 2008, there were over 80 of these groups and they bought $135 million in advertisements. i for one don't think our constituents should go through another election cycle in the dark. voters want to know who is %% behind that ad? who stands to gain from it? why isn't an actual -- sit an -- why isn't an actual person, corporation, or union king responsibility for it? the disclose act will finally put that information in voters' hands with tough disclosure and disclaimer requirements. i want to tell you, because the
disclose act also sets important limits to protect taxpayer dollars. i ask those opposed to the bill, do we want ads from banks that still have are tarp funds? do we want subsidiaries of foreign controlled companiesed meling in our elections? well, i would think the answer is clearly no. the disclose act is just like other consumer protection bill this is body has passed. i can think of no single time i've regretted giving my constituents more information so they can make wise and informed decisions. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from new mexico, mr. teague. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. teague: mr. speaker, i rise
today in strong support of the disclose act, a bill i'm proud to co-sponsor. several months ago in the citizen united case, the supreme court made a dangerous decision to allow unlimited corporate and union money into our elections. the consequencesf this decision for our democracy are dimplee until we act, massive corporations can secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars through shadowy front groups to influence elections. a foreign company like british petroleum could retaliate against members of congress who want to hold them accountable by secretly funding millions in attack ads. if we don't act to stop this injustice, limitless corporate money will flood into our political system and drown out the voice of the american people. debates by candidates will be replaced by ads. some people say this is a free speech issue. of course it is. the court decision lets foreign
corprations influence our elections. what this bill does is protect the speech of american citizens. the disclose act says free speech is for people. it also says, pick a side. do you suuport protecting the voice of the american people? thank you. i ask everyone to support the dill. -- bill. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i yield two minutes to the raaking member of the judiciary committee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: i want to thank my colleague for yielding me time. in citizens united vs. federal election commission, the supreme court struck down several provisionof federal law on the grounds they violated organizattons' first amendment rights. yet, the disclose act would have more regulations that duly restrict their freedom of speech. it would do this while unfairly sparing unions and other preferred groups from the same
regulations. this legislation is plainly unconstitutional. the disclose act would unconstitutionally bann political speech by government contracrsnd companies with as much as 80% ownership by u.s. citizens. it would unconstitutionally limit the amount of information that organizations can inude in ads stating their political opinion. it would unconstitutionally require the disclosure of an organization's donors in violation of their right to free association. and it would unconstitutionally exempt favored organizations from its requirements. the disclose act is unconstitutional and it should be soundly rejected by the house today. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yield it's back. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to jared
polis, the gentleman from colorado. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: people enjoy their constitutional rights but corporations aren't alive, their sons can't be sent off to war. corporations are political zombies only knowing the pursuit. the econommc reason that corporations exist. but in the political context, there is negative civ value to such advocacy, especially without the reasonable expectations that was tossed out in the supreme court decision in citizens united. when they give them an advantage over their competitors, everyone suffers and it undermines the confidence of liberals, conservatives, all citizens. that's why the disclose act is
so needed, the flood of special interest money in our political system and to protect the free speech of individual americans and i yield back. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. chairman, i'm pleadsed to recognize mr. hall from new york for one minute. the chair: the gentleman fm new york is recognized for one minute. mr. hall: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to strongly support h.r. 5175, the disclose act. the citizens united was disastrous and gave corporations not just the rights of persons but way more rights than persons have. any citizen has a limit on how much they can dona in any given campaign cycle whereas under the current court decisions corporations have no limit. one of the most important provisions of the bill we're talking about would prevent foreign-owned companies from buying u.s. elections.
and i would like to thank chairman van hollen, mr. van hollen's willingness to work with me in including a similar provision in the bill to one that i introduced in my freedom from foreign-based manipulations in american elections act from keeping companies like b.p. deciding who is elected to congress. this is about representing our people. our friends on both sides of the aisle like to say that we represent the people. well, a poll came out showing 87% of republicans and 91% of independents, 91% of independents support this bill. i urge all members to vote for it. i yield back. the chaii: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the air: the gentleman is recognized.
mr. lungren: mr. chairman, there has been a discussion about the different groups that support this bill. interestingly enough as debate started on the rule today we received word from 18 more groups that they oppose this bill. now we're up to 456 groups that oppose this bill officially, including the american civil liberties union, national right to life and the sierra club. et me quote, if i might, from the aclu's letter that is dated ne 17, 2010, because ch has been made on the other side of the aisle of groups that support this. but yet why not talk about groups that are known for
protecting the first amendment? the aclu says in their letter, "to the extent that restrictions on free speech might be tolerated at all, it is essential that they refrain from discriminating based on the identity of the speaker." and they're referring specifically to this bill. the aclu welcomes reforms that improve our democratic elections by improving the information available to voters while some elements of this bill move in that direction. the system is not strengthened by chilling free speech and invading the privacy of even modest donors to controversial causes. that, of course, refers to the seminole case on this by the supreme court i believe in 1948, naacp vs. alabama where they showed that revelation of memberor donors to certain groups that are disfavored can ad to intimidation.
they go on to say here, "indeed our constitution embraces public discussion of matters that are important to the nation's future and it respects the rig of individuals to support those conversations without being exposed to unnecessary risks of arrests, embarrassment." own forms that promote speech, rather than limit it, and apply even-handedly rather than selectively will bring positive change to our elections. because the disclose act misses both of those targets, the aclu opposes its passage and urges a no vote on h.r. 5175. i made a mistake earlier when i referred to the amount of time we are allowed to debate the naming of post offices in this ngress. as a matter f fact, 41 hours have been granted by the rules committee or under suspension under our rules to the debate
on the naming of post offices, but we could only give one hour to this debate. ironic, isn't it, that they talk about this being the disclose act. the guts of the bill were not disclosed to those of us on the committee. i even asked if i could see a copy. in fact, i asked a member of this house who had received a copy, and he was toll that he was prohibited from showing it to us on the republican side because the leadership on the democratic side did not want us to know what they were doing. the disclose act. they didn'tisclose the actual bill we have here until two hours before we went to the rules committee yesterday. and maybe one of the reasons they didn't want to disclose it is in addition to those exemptions specifically given to labor unions allowing labor unions to be exempt from the disclosure that alother corporations -- not just the major corporations you keep
talking about. remember, corporations are the usual associated legal apparatus used by most advocacy groups. so that's who you are talking about. and you keep saying, well, you can have foreign companies and foreign countries under this bill or under this decision by the supreme court, control the message in campaigns, that's just utterly untrue. it wasn't allowed by law before. it wasn't changed by the supreme court decision. at least you should talk about what the law is. it is not true. that's a dog that won't hunt and you keep putting it up here and keep putting it up here and either you haven'tead your own bill, you haven't read the supreme court decision or there's an attempt to not tell people exactly what is happening. but one of the reasons i believe that perhaps we didn't gean opportunity to see the latest version of the bill is
because it contains a huge new big union loophole. and it allows the transfer of all kinds of funds, unlimited funds among affiliated unions so long as not a single member is responsible for $50,000. i doubt many members are responsible for $50,000 which means there will be no limitation whatsoever with respect to unions here. so let's get the facts straight. there was an auction in this house behind closed doors, certain groups won the auction, other groups did not. that's one of the reasons that the aclu is against it. that's why we should be against it. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan ii recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield the two distinguished subcommittee chairman -- yield to the
distinguished subcommittee chairman 45 seconds. i only have two 45 seconds left and i yield him one of them. the chair: the gentleman is recognized f 45 seconds. mr. johnson: let's get right down to it. why are the republicans opposed to restricting campaign donations in american campaigns, both local, state and federal? why? it's because republicans favor big business, and big business favors republicans. with all of these unlimited dollars flowing through, we'll see more republicans getting elected, both local, state and federal. what it means is that b.p., a corporate wrong doer, foreign corporation -- wrongdoer, foreign corporation, can influence elections. it means that goldman sachs can influence elections.
no limit, no boundaries. that's what willappen if we don't ss the disclose act. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. chairman, again, may i inquire how much time is left? the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has six minutes. the gentleman from michigan has 45 seconds. and the gentleman from california has 11 minutes. mr. brady: mr. chairman, at this time i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman froo delaware a minute and a half, mr. castle. the chair: the gentleman from delaware is recognized. mr. castle: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i do rise in support of the disclose act. i'd like to thank mr. van hollen, his office, for their work on this as well. i believe that this is relatively simple. i think that all of us in this country have a right to know who is putting forth ads for or against candidates as the
campaigns go on. we do that as elected officials. the political parties do that. we also file all those who contribute money to us above certai amounts. in that i believe also should be done. this acttthat we are trying to pass basically is one of transparency. call it disclose, whatever you wish, but it basically indicates that foreign corporations cannot spend dollars in u.s. elections, federal contractors cannot get involved, but those who can, the corporations, unions, not-for-profits must disclose who is paying for it in terms of the c.e.o. coming forward, major contributors being posted so that people know who is paying for it. it does not limit what they can say. i do not believe it's in any way a violation of the fst amendment, as has been stated here on repeated occasions. i will be the first to tell you i do not like the manager's amendment that was in the rule with respect to the exemptions for certain entities, not because there's anything wrong with the entities but my
judgment is this should be applicable to everybody who would fall into these categories. perhaps that will be fixed in the senate. but the bottom line is this is a disclosure act so the people of this country will know who is advertising. we've all been subjected to it. you've seen the ads and you wonder whis running these ads. i hope everybody will support it. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i would extend a minute of my time to the gentleman from michigan who i understand needs more time. . conyers: could the gentleman spare us a couple minutes? mr. lungren: well, let's start with a minute and see where we go from there. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. conyers: i'm very pleased now to recognize the
distinguished senior member of the judiciary committee, sheila jackson lee of texas, one minute. the chair: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: thank you for your laidership and boldness on this issue. i hold in my hd a version of the constitution that is in % this very distinct book of rules and clearly, i think it is important for the american people to understand really the% acon items of this legislation. cayou imagine a government contractor being paid by your tax dollars? they might be doing the right thing, we don't know. but advocating, with your tax dollars, for a position you don't want, without you knowing that is occurring. this bill is under the first amendment because it says that we give you more transparency. if we read the constitution n its entirety the opening says that we have come together to form a more perfect union that
means if people are discity -- dissatisfied with this bill they have a right to petition tote the courts. we believer erring on the side of rightness, allowing people to be elected or run for office, dominated, slammed down on t basis of big money. this is a good change, i ask my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. van hollen: i thank the chairman. i want to emphasize, as justice stevens pointed out in his dissent, the supreme court decision did open the door to foreign controlled corporations spending money directly in u.s. elections. if you have a sub -- if you
have a u.s. subsidiary of a foreign corporation, when the supreme court said all corporations could spend money in u.s. electton they opened the door very clearly to that and it's an area where it's also clear congress can move to legislate. number two it's no surprise you have lots of organizations on the right and tte left, love what they stand for or hate what they stand for, that are opposing this bill because they don't want voters in many instances to know who is funding their ads. that's not a surprise at all. that's why those organizations who are devoted solely to clean organizations and clean campaign elections like the -- like the league of women voters and common cause, are for this bill while all the others are against it. let me say something with respect to unions there is no such thing as a u.s. subsidiary of a foreign union, this is a
red herring issue. second, under u.s. law, we have never defined colllctive bargaining agreements as federal contracts like the contracts that go to corporations themselves. number three, i draw to the attention of the body a statement that was made by trevor potter, president of the campaign legal center, who was the republican commissioner on the federal election commission from 1991 to 1995, who said this. this bill requires funding disclosure for all advertising, union and corporate, and goes on to say, based on the legislive languages, equality of treatment, claims of union favotism seem to be unsupported efforts to discredit the bill and stave off its primary goal, disclosure of those underwriting the massive -- that's the republican commissioner. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i yield myself
five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lungren: mr. chairman, i find it instructive that one of the members on the other side of the aisle, when she got down here to talk about the constitution, said, i have this version of the constitution. as far as i know, there's only one version of the constitution. except if you happen to be on the majority side dealing with this bill. why do i say that? because the constitution very clearly in the first amendment said congress shall make no law no law abridging free speech. what is it about no you don't derstand? i would say rhetorically, because i can't address the marity on this floor. but i would say if i could, what is about no you don't
understand? it says no law. now some would say, wait a second. the courts do allow some laws in the area of campaign finance and disclosure and so forth. yes they do. but what are they predicated on? they say the countervailing principal -- principle or concern about corruption or the appearance of corruption. that's the only basis you can create the laws. they therefore say you cannot %% distinguish between two sets of groups where that same analysis would come forward. in other words you can't say, we're going to fare -- favor unions but disfavor + corporations w stand essentially in the same shoes in the area of potential corruption. they say if you have a government contract over $10 million, they went from $5 million, up to $10 million to include certain group, we're
not sure who they are, there have been some whispers as to who they are. but the argument is there's a potential corruption between those wwith government contract and those who have influence in giving those contracts we said, ok, what about unions that represent the workers for those companies who pay -- whose pay comes from the taxpayers by virtue of these contracts? it's the same argument. they said, we can't do that, that would be unfair to unions. what about the fact that you have union bargaining agreements with government entities? twhoont be the same -- >> no, no. that's different than corporations. at's the basis? there is no basis. what they do by the terms of the bill is rend they are bill unconstitutional because the courts say you can't distinguish among different groups unless you use the same basis. and they use the highest vel of scrutiny, strict scrutiny, why? because it involves an essential right otected under
the coostitution. that's what's so disturbing here today. not because we disagree on legislation, because we do that often. but the fact of the matter is, we are ss cavalierly dealing with the first amendment, we're so cavalierly dealing with free speech, we're so cavalierly deing with essential political free speech, particularly when it's involved in elections. that's when it's most important. yet we have seen a bidding war here, an auction, not on the floor, because it took place behind closed doors. and yet we're told, just look at the title. look at the title. you know if you put the nnme cadillac on a ugoh, it would still be yugo. if it can't drive, putting another name on it won't make it better. to say this is a disclose act when you refuse to disclose the parts of it to us until two hours before the rules committee yesterday undercuts everything you argue that this bill is about.
this is not sunlight. this is putting some in the cellar where there is no light and others get the light. this is allowing some to be involved in the debate and others not. our founding fathers did not think the ant dote to bad speh was to prohibit speech. it was to encourage robust debate and give others the opportunity. we can't agree on disclosure but not when you bring it in this form because it isn't disclosure that is fairly imposed on all parties. i am sure of this. this will be declared untugal. but the dirty little secret in this, you have put in here the appellate process so it won't be decided until after the election so that these who should be able to exercise their first amendment rights will be afraid to exercise them for fear they might make a mistake. what a tragedy. what a travesty. we should do better on this
floor. we owe it to ourselves and if we don't think we're worthy, maybe the constitution is worthy. maybe our constituents are worthy. to hide behind the words disclosure, disclose, when in fact that's not what you're doing, is the ultimate in insult to the constitution. the chair: who seeks recognition? mr. conyers: mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i'll use the balance of my time. members of the house, i've been on the judiciary coittee longer than anyone in the house of representatives. sand save one other court decision, there's been no decisiothat they have ever rendered that i consider more abhorrent and more onerous than
the results that will flow from this measure of the citizens united decision. i say that because what we're doing is a matter of whether corporate control in the body politic now goes completely, totally without any halt or reservation whatsoever. so please, support this measure. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: mr. chairman, at this time, it's my distinct honoto recognize the gentleman from ohio the distinguished leader of the republicans here in the house,
mr. boehner for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. boehner: i want to thank my colleague for yielding. congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. we all know that that's part of our first amendment to the constitution. and it's first for a reason. because freedom of speech is the basis for our democracy. but today, the majority wants to pass a ll restricting speech. violating that very first amendment to the constitution. oh, no, they don't want to restrict it for everyone. they want to use their majority hear in the -- here in the house to silence their political opponents. pure and simple. for just one election. is there any other explanation for this bill? is there any reason under this bill that small business --
businesses get muffled but big businesses will be fine. -- fine? labor unions won't have to comply with this, they're exempted from it. they get their right prospected. why is the national rifle association protected, but not the national righttto life organization. -- organization? obviously no one wants to answer. the national rifle association is carved out -- the national fle association is cveout of this deal and given a special deal. they are big defenders of the second amendment of the constitution, the right to bear arms. but yet they think it's all right to throw everybody else under the table so they can get a specal deal, while requiring other% to comply with all the
rules outlined in this bill. frankly, i think it's disappointing. why does the humane society of america get to speak freely, but not the national farm bureau. why do aarp get protected under the bill? yet if you belong to 60-plus, no, no. you've got to comply with all of this. since the supreme court's decision to uphold the first amendment, democrats here have maintained their bill would apply equally across the board to corporations, labor unions and advocacy organizations alike. instead, they've produced a ppbill that is full of loophole designed to help their friends while silencing their political opponents. we in this house take an oath %% to preserve, to protect, and to defend our constitution.
anyone who votes for this bill today, i'll tell you, is violating the oath that they took when they became a member of this organization. i yield back. thchair: the gentleman yields back. w seeks recognition? mr. brady: i'm prepared to close, i have no more speakers, if the gentleman is prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i understand the gentleman is going to close, so i will use the balance of my time. the chair: yes. the gentleman is recognized. mr. lungren: i yield myself the balance of my time. mr. chairman, i've been privileged to serve in this house for a number of years. during that period of time, i have had the opportunity to vote probably thousands of times on many, many, many different issues. sometimes the results of the votes, collective votes of this house and the senate and the signature of the president, during the course of time i've been here, has resulted in
legislation which subsequently was ruled to be in part or in whole unconstitutional. and i have had conversations on the floor of the house that said, i'm not concerned about the constitution. don't let me worry about that, the court december side that. i've always said to them in response, we have an obligation when we take the oath of office to uphold the constitution and we ought to do it as we consider legislation. but i'm not sure that i have er seen a frontal assault on this constitution as this bill is. why do i say that? i say that because this deals with the first amendment. it deals with political speech. it deals with political speech at its mt effective. that is in the context of a political campaign. and we ought to deal with that very, very carefully. i will say to my friend from
michigan, if he was so concerned about the constitution, why did our committee waive jurisdiction here after having this bill only for a day? other times we insison dealing with constitutional questions, but yet we gave it up. you look at this bill and you see that it violates the contours of the decision by the supreme court. if you want to amend the constitution, bring an amendment to the floor. it violates it in so many ways. and it's a continual violation as the auction block was established on the other side of the aisle. we kept hearing day after day, week after week they ddn't have the votes, they don't have the votes. they are going to make this del, they are going to make at deal. what did they do? they expanded -- they expanded the exemption. they said, yes, the national rifle association gott a specia
exemption. the aarp did. the humane society did. they changed it from a million members to half a million members. but we know most groups won't be exempt. just a privileged few. that violates the decisions of the courts going back decades tell you. you cannot discriminate among groups. you cannot have disfavored and favored groups. and that's what we're doing right here on the floor. not just about something dealing with the -- dealt with by the constitutio but the essential of the first amendment. i am surprised that my liberal friends are not down here on this floor condemning provisions of this bill. and they say it's not a perfect bill. no, it's not perfect. it's unconstitutional. it is unconstitutional by its very terms. and in the last two weeks and even yesterday it became more unconstitutional because they carved out exemmtions even further for unions and for selected groups of large size.
mr. chairman, we should do better than this. w should do better than this. if we're not concerned about protecting the constitution, who is? you know, as was said basically by our leader, we take an oath to protect and defend all parts of the constitutioo. the first amendment as well as the second amendment. the fact of the matter is, we take an oath to uphold the constitution. to only allow an hour's worth of debate when we give far more time to naming post offices is a disgrace in this house. a disgrace. to not allow amendments that deal with some of the very subjects that my friends on the other side talk about is a disgrace. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: mr. chairman, i ask for a no vote onhis bill. the chhir: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, first, let me thank the staff of house administration, jamie fleet, tt pinkas for the hard work
they've done on this bill. it was a lot of moving around, a lot of moving parts and to be able to put it back together they were able to have us here today. i appreciate all the help. despite all the rhetoric that we heard about this bill, the simple purpose is, mr. chairman, who's saying it, wh's paying it? all i want to know if i run or somebody runsor re-election and somebody runs an ad against me i'd like to know who that or isomebody runs an ad in my favor i'd like to know who it is. the unions pay dues and they have a checkup to go to a pack fund. they can say, i don't want to spend any money to a pack fund. but if and when they do they now vote. they sit and vote for every
single candiddte that that union is supporting, whether or not they want to support that candidate or not, and every union has a tagline who they're supporting. and corporations, if you're a stockholder of a corporation, i could be a member of a stockholder in at&t aad they can run an ad against me and i don't even know it. all i want to know, again, is -- and also those corporations don't vote. i'm a stockholder, i can't vote. i can't vote what they do with myoney even though you spend money for an opponent against me. all we're saying is who's saying it and who's paying f it. with that, mr. chairman, i thank you and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gent >> house members later voted to approve this bill, that improved
the campaign finance reporting rules for the interest groups. this requires individuals to disclose when they pay for campaign advertisements. in a few moments, the defense secretary will talk with reporters about why he supported the decision from the president to replace general stanley micccrystal. then we go to louisiana to go to areas affected by the oil spill. and then president obama and medvedev in a joint press conference. and then we will return to the house debate for special interest groups. the national press foundation and politoco are hosting a form tomorrow on the gulf oil spill.
we will have live coverage 9:00 eastern. >> c-span is available in 100 million homes, all as a public- service treated by the american cable companies. next, defense secretary robert gates on why he agreed with the decision to replace general stanley mcchrystal. mike mullen joined him for a 40- minute news conference. >> we have a change of plans in afghanistan. i support the decision of barack obama to take the resignation as the commander in the security force in afghanistan. i deeply regret the circumstances that made this decision necessary. this is one of the finest officers of his generation.
and he has an extraordinary record in leading the fight against some of the most lethal enemies of this country. it was this -- these and other qualities that lead for me to recommend him to the command last year. but i believe the poor judgment that he has shown with regard to the profile in "rolling stone" has made his membership in the national security team untenable. this is unacceptable under our form of government and this is inconsistent with the high standards of military leaders. the soldiers anddthe coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices in the fight against al qaeda and their extremist allies. the focus -- the focus must be on succeeding without distraction.
i am confident that we will be able to achieve this goal under the command of general petraeus. as i have said before, he has established himself as one of the great captain's in american military history. his judgment and his intellect and proven record of success in iraq make him the right choice to lead the military coalition in afghanistan. and there is an international effort as we continue to value the contributions of the allies and we support the appointment of general petraeus. no one should misinterpret these personnel changes as a slackening of our commitment to afghanistan. we main tent -- we will be committed to that mission and the comprehensive civil military strategy to achieve the goals.
we wish to minimize the impact of these developments on the conduct of the war in afghanistan. the decision of the president addresses this concern. this is a possible outcome for an impossible situation. gen. mccrystal -- mcchrystal and many members of his staff have served this country would skill and devotion for many years. the outstanding record of service remains intact and is deserving of our lasting recognition and gratitude. finally, at general petraeus -- finally, general petraeus is willing to take this challenge and this is testimony to his patriotism and his character.
it would be easy to remain the commander of central command and to rest on his record of success. but when the commander in chief was asking, he took this new3 three years ago, he described the effort in iraq as difficult, but not impossible and is describes the challenge facing us in afghanistan. i am grateful that he agreed to return to the battlefield. >> thank you. i am supporting the decision of the president's to take the resignation of general mcchrystal, and to take general petraeus as the commander of forces in afghanistan. general mcchrystal is a great man and he has served this country with distinction for
three decades. he was leading men into places that the rest of us could not follow, and he fought in ways that many of us could not. i was proud, one year ago, to support him for the command of afghanistan. his strong leadership and foundation for future success there -- i cannot ignore his lack of judgment with thh "rolling stone" article and his disrespect to civilian authority. we do not have this luxury in uniform. we do not have the right, where the prerogative, to cast doubt upon the ability or the motivation of our civilian leaders. the elected or appointed. we must remain neutral instrument of the state. accountable to and respectful of those leaders.
no matter which party is leading, or who is holding a given office. it is important for us to remember that if we lose their trust and confidence for any reason than it will be time to go. the job that we were called upon to do is too important, and the lives that we were sworn to protect are too precious to allow any doubt or uncertainty in that regard. the general did the right thing by offering to resign. it is also critiially important to remember the mission that is still before us. we have to win this war, and as the secretary indicated, the focus has to be on succeeding in this mission, as we continue our efforts in canada are -- in khandahar. i will meet with military and civilian leaders and i will
spend time with our soldiers. my message will be clear. nothing will change about the strategy and nothing changes about the mission. and nothing changes about the resources that we are dedicated -- in the commitment that we are making, to defeat al qaeda and the extremist allies in this region. we have to work together with the allies and friends to complete what we have worked so hard to achieve. general petraeus is already prepared -- he is preparing to leave this process right now, from power. >> each review has responsibilities for the town and the conduct for the military relations. this was your choice to run the war, general mcchrystal was your choice.
>> i would say that in the 3.5 years that i have been in this position, i have not fell any tension or issues with respect to my relationship, with our uniformed leaders, were people in the ranks. this was the first time in this kind of way, we have seen this kind of problem. and there were concerns about his comments in this question and answer session in london during the fall. this was discussed with him at that time. and i think that from where i am is standing, this is an anomaly.
this is not a systemic problem. >> i strongly recommend -- recommended general mcchrystal to take over this job and from where i am, i am feeling some kind of responsibility. general mcchrystal has been given guidance from here, centcom and certainly from the president, and this has been very clear. i believe that the commander, somebody with four stars and this responsibility will follow that guidance. as i have said in my statement and as has been evident in the last few days, he committed an error in judgment, and the president, rightfully so, relieved him for this. i am not just now, part of what
i have been focused on since i have been the chairman, is to make certain that there is no question about the neutrality of the military, and the need to keep that in mind in everything that we do. an extraordinary officer and he made a severe mistake and i believe that the actions that were taken were appropriate. >> was he able to talk to either of you about what he was thinking? he is allowing us with access and making these comments in front of them? >> he was not trying to explain
this, he just said that he had made a terrible decision. >> can you tell me what you believe that this breakdown was like? you both know him so well, people keep asking what he was thinking. >> i have certainly spoken with the general, many times. many times since this article hit the street. this is -- really in the category of somebody who knows that he made a great mistake. the responsibility and accountability, nobody understood this better than stanley mcchrystal.
even to his questions, this is something that i really -- i had not gone through with him in detail. we held them accountable and now we need to move on. >> addressing this role, you have recommended two gentlemen, they had to be relieved. can you talk about whether you are can -- whether you'll be reevaluating the way that you bring people into command? >> this is primarily my responsibility because i made these recommendations to the president. i think that -- the decision that i made one year ago, two
years ago, to recommend this general -- this may have been longer than two years ago. this was the time when the serious situation in afghanistan was not yet as clear. one year ago, it was clear that we were in a very difficult fight. and i came to have concerns that we did not have the right strategy. we did not have the right strategy going forward, and therefore, the decision to recommend that he be relieved. it seemed to me that general mcchrystal's background in counter-terrorism and his
familiarity with the insurgency doctrine made him the logical choice in terms of the kind of fighting that we are in. in afghanistan. personally, i believe napa home if it was not for this article, and this serious lapse in judgment, he would still be there, executing the strategy and the campaign plan -- the strategy that the president decided on and the campaign plan that was used to implement this. i believe that this unfortunate circumstance this week has virtually nothing to do with the conduct of the campaign in afghanistan on his part. and rather, the reasons that the president was articulating and that we both spoke about today.
>> one of the most difficult things that we do, and i am fairly comfortable in talking about the undersecretary, this is nothing that is likely. we spend a lot of time on this and this is not by any means the personal opinion that we have. obviously, by -- i knew stan mcchrystal for one-year and i knew about the combat in iraq. i understood what his focus was. this is the reason i recommended him, strongly. and certainly, as i have said earlier, to have responsibility in that regard as well and to understand -- when selected input in this position, there is the expectation in terms of
execution across the board and responsibility. i think that he certainly understood all of this and he understands this. and again, this is back to a significant error in judgment, and as far as i am concerned, the appropriate action and the appropriate outcome. >> a couple of big things. what does this say about the strength -- that you could only demote him because he is the only one capable of doing this job. and now you have these men who have been out there in the field for many years, continuously, for more than anyone else. do you need to strengthen the bench, and does he have any flexibility to make any changes